Anime Autumn Season 2016 – Early Impressions
I am not sure whether I’m slow, or this season just has a lot of shows, but it’s taken me nearly a week to get through all of them. Even though I spent several hours per day watching the damn things.
Sorry, I shouldn’t sound so bitter. As always, this adventure into uncharted seas has been highly interesting. In spite of my looming burnout, there were very few shows where I weren’t able to even complete the first episode. Which might have contributed to how long it took to clear them all. Looks like this might be a decent season.
As I stated at the end of my wrap-up post for Summer Season, I am going to be limiting my picks this season. After some self-deliberation, I decided on 3 seeds, 4 new shows, and 1 short. I’ll also have a backup list for things I can swap in if my new picks don’t work out, or maybe just to watch if I have time to spare with nothing else to do. I’m not sure how likely that is, but it’s an option.
I will post my picks at the end, and drop my [Maybe] tags to try to keep some mystery. However, I fully expect my choices to be reflected in my writing, so it probably won’t be much of a mystery.
3-gatsu no Lion
Aka Sangatsu no Lion aka March comes in like a lion
Very interesting one. Our protagonist is Rei Kirayama, 17 yo, and professional Shogi player.
He has recently moved out on his own, and spends a lot of his time now just brooding at home. My impression is that he’s experienced something that left emotional wounds, and he’s having a hard time processing that. The first 10 mins of the episode are very sombre, and it takes 9 mins for him to even say his first line.
Then the show switches gears to show another part of his life: The three sisters up there. They are not his family, but they treat him as such. They invite him over, feed him dinner, let him sleep at their place, and generally show a lot of warmth and affection towards him. Which he doesn’t seem entirely used to or comfortable with, but he gets swept up in it when he lets his guard down.
It also seems like they are not the only ones who notice he’s struggling and worry about him.
This does not feel like it’s entirely my thing, and I’m not sure where it’s going with things yet. There is also the issue of the tone being all over the place and shifting rapidly, but it feels more like like a representation of how life works rather than the result of poor directing. It might transition into the latter later on, though.
With its interesting art-style and animation, solid-feeling characters, and hints at a grounded narrative; I would not be surprised if this turns into a hit of the season.
I’ve seen several types of sports anime by now, but this is the first one I’ve seen about rugby. Very beefy boys.
Our main stars seem to be Gion Kenji, who is really short, and Sumiaku Iwashimizu, who is really tall. Gion is very Edward Elric, very sensitive about his height, and prone to attacking those who make fun of/mention his height.
Thanks to Sumiaku, Gion discovers rugby, a sports where being short is not necessarily a downside. Gion wants to join the rugby club, but Sumiaku is hesitant. Predictably, Gion manages to talk him into it.
I thought this was a really fun anime. Well, fun first episode. I really enjoyed watching it. If you’re into sports anime, this is worth giving a look.
Ao Oni The Animation [Dropped]
Aka Aooni The Blue Monster
Short. I don’t understand what this is. I don’t understand what it’s for. Who it’s for. Is it meant for children? I don’t get it.
Aka Miss Bernard said.
Short. Miss Bernard is a girl who likes to pretend she’s well-read, even though she doesn’t actually like reading. But training has given her some skill in pretending.
Shorts often are a little more weird than your regular anime, and this falls into that category. It’s not bizarre or anything like that, just a little peculiar. Could possibly be fun.
Edgy vampires try to do social commentary.
It’s sometime in the near future, and a mysterious virus epidemic turned some of the population into “Bloodivores”, or vampires as we normally call them. Granted, they can withstand sunlight just fine, so that’s a difference, I guess. They need blood regularly to avoid going feral and just attacking people at random, I believe they have enhanced abilities, and they’re really hard to kill.
So most people fear them, the police use excessive force on them (when they kill someone), they are all tagged with some sort of collar, and I guess society as a whole looks down on them.
Our story stars four teenage vampires who are too cool and certified Bad Boys™/Girl™, and they only care about themselves, and resent regular humans, you know the spiel. They perform a bank robbery, possibly to get money to buy blood, or possibly for giggles. It doesn’t really establish that.
Once they’re caught they find out that everyone who was in the bank is dead, they’re being blamed for it, and end up taking the fall.
Wow, such edge. So deep. It’s essentially Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, just replace Augmented with Bloodivores, and Neuropozyne with Blood.
While maybe this could grow into something decent, I can’t recommend it based on its first episode. It’s pretty rubbish. And the preview for episode 2 just made me want to watch the show even less.
On a curious note, this was the first time I saw the splash screen for a new (to me) production company play at the start: Animation Company Emon, Haoliners Animation. I saw this splash screen two more times this season. The other two shows aren’t especially good either.
Apparently this is a spin-off of Strike Witches. I have never seen Strike Witches. I think Brave Witches has been designed to work as a stand-alone though. I think. It did a quick explanation of the set-up, and I didn’t really have any problem figuring out what was going on.
Now at first, when the timestamp of 1939 showed up, I thought we were having two shows about WW2 witches this season, but instead it was when an alien invasion happened. Those damn aliens, ruining everyone’s war plans.
The idea is that girls with magical powers aka witches are equipped with aircraft legs and weaponry, and sent off to fight these aliens.
Fast forward to 1944, and Hikari’s our main girl. She’s a witch in training, and not exactly the best one. While there’s nothing wrong with her stamina or determination, her magical ability needs work. A lot of work, probably. Still, she’s determined to succeed and be able to fly with her older sister in the Brave Witches squadron. Apparently while the Strike Witches were the 501st, the Brave Witches are the 502nd.
As you probably already guessed, a thing happens and Hikari ends up getting to go with her sister to Europe, as they desperately need help there.
I noticed that witches don’t seem to be allowed to wear trousers. Not just when they’re in action, but also off-duty. They always have bare legs. Not even allowed shorts or hot pants. Or skirts. So we never shake the image of girls running around in their underwear, especially since the camera angles like to remind us of the state of their bottoms.
I’ve been told that’s par for the course with Strike Witches, and I’m sure you can get used to it. Seems like a decent show if you disregard that part of it.
Cheating Craft [Dropped]
The second Haoliners Animation show. While it’s technically classed as a short, I feel it stretches the definition when the eps are 13 mins long. ( Or maybe just the first episode is that long. )
Set in place of “total equality”, we have a show that makes very unsubtle social commentary. It’s a country/city where the only thing that determines your social standing when you grow up is how well you do on a grand exam of some sorts. On the idea that everyone will have an equal opportunity to prepare for and perform on the exam.
The show wastes no time shattering The Dream by showing us how those with the means spend an ungodly amount of money getting tutors and special education for their kids, while others go to extreme lengths to allow their kids to cheat their way to a good life. Such subtle, wow.
The cheaters tend to align themselves with one person who is actually a good student, and copy their work. In exchange, the cheater protects the student from anyone who tries to sabotage them, because apparently everyone wants as few people as possible to pass the exam. Because… that’s their commentary on human nature? The cheaters have all sorts of gadgets, implants, martial training, and hidden weaponry.
I am far from sold on this one. I will again grant that it might have the potential to grow into something decent, but the first episode did a really poor job of selling the concept to me. Just seemed messy and boring.
Hands down, best OP this season. It’s amazing. Worth watching even if you have no interest in watching the show itself.
How do I even describe this… right, so two of the main characters are Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven. Apparently you can just called them Motes and Beetes. This is set in modern times, because these two are ClassicaLoids, which I gather are probably like Vocaloids, but modelled after classic musicians? The OP and ED show several others. They also apparently have musical superpowers, because why not.
So the story is that main girl Kanae is in possession of this old house, practically a mansion, that is about to be condemned and demolished. The main problem is that her father sent Motes and Beetes to her door with a letter from him saying they could stay there. And her friend has some of his stuff stored in an unused room there. So she has to struggle to get them all to pack up and leave, but then weird stuff happens.
While I quite enjoyed this episode, I have some concerns as to whether this idea can be stretched out into a whole season. It seems like the kind of thing that might run out of steam well before then.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a new concept. Our protagonist is a guy with a winning personality and a desire to be an idol, though he won’t admit that. He is scouted while out working because he has such a positive influence on people, and gets thrust head-first into the idol world, where four established idols are basically saddled by the manager/top-idol to get him into the role.
So it’s idol boys, but it’s also part magical boys? I think this is based on a CCG, because at the start of the performance the cheers of the audience turn into cards the idols snatch up, which magically transforms them into the outfits on the cards. Very curious, but it looks kinda fun.
It also made me realise that I don’t know what ONA means. Because this show is classed as an ONA, yet it has 12 episodes running at normal anime-length. So how is this different from just a typical anime production? I could google it, but we all need some mystery in our lives.
While watching this thing it all felt very familiar, and looking it up afterwards confirmed it. This is made by the same guy who did Hellsing. I liked Hellsing, but hot damn, the edge on this thing. No wonder everyone seems to be blood piñatas waiting to explode. Maybe this is unfair, but it feels like a style that’s past its prime.
Okay, the plot: Edgelord #1 is a hardcore samurai who can slice whole people in two and take half a dozen spears at once without actually dying. No seriously, that happens. This is at the time of the Sekihagara battle, and after getting heavily injured stalling for time to let his father escape, he tries to drag himself back home. At which point he suddenly finds himself in a long white corridor lined with doorways. A strange man is sitting on a desk, and assigns him to a door. There a couple of elves that are actually not speaking Japanese drag his dying body off to an old castle where he meets Oda Nobunaga and some lady who’s a hero/legend of yore. Look, I’m bad with names.
The only things left to say is:
Edge edge edge edge edge edge edge edge edge~
Cocona’s a young girl who doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. Papika’s a curious girl with a flying surfboard who finds Cocona and instantly decides they are destined adventure buddies. So on an adventure they go, in spite of Cocona’s protests.
This is very strange show, with strange characters and strange happenings. I can see why some of my friends compared it to the opening of Rolling Girls. It’s like they’re attempting a similar feel.
I still have no idea where this is going to go, or how it’s going to go, but I feel hopeful about this one. It’s already hitting the Cute and Gay boxes for me.
Fune wo Amu
Aka The Great Passage
I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve seen a noitaminA show. They tend to be pretentious wank with an interesting premise that isn’t able to last for a whole season.
As for Fune wo Amu, it is definitely pretentious wank, about making dictionaries. Yes, really. “A dictionary is a ship to sail the ocean of words.”
Our main star seems to be Mitsuna Majime, a man with terrible posture, and a love for books and words. He’s in the sales department of a book publisher, but when the senior editor at the dictionary editorial department is about to retire, Hajime ends up being scouted to become the editor’s successor. They have a dictionary called The Great Passage to complete, and he regrets not being able to finish it himself.
For all of its pretentiousness, I actually liked this episode. It gets off to a rocky start, so I wasn’t feeling it to begin with. But as it gets into the second half, that starts smoothing out, and a genuine earnest charm started coming out. Whether that will stick, or whether noitaminA’s track record is going to stand… I suppose we won’t know for a little while yet.
Gakuen Handsome [Dropped]
Short. No. Get it away. I refuse.
Aka Girlish Number
Chitose Karasuma is a voice actor who’s still pretty new to the business. Which means she’s been in it for a year. She’s yet to have any big roles, and is quick to blame others, or the industry itself, for her falling short. So what happens when she gets a big role? We’ll find that out in future episodes.
I’m not sure if this is going to be a recurring theme, but at least in the first episode there is a lot of harsh and blunt commentary about the VA and anime business, also dragging some mud onto light novels and how execs are obsessed with idols and other trends they don’t really understand.
On her side Chitose has her very tired agent, and a thousand amazing facial expressions. I emphasise that last one, because Chitose’s facial expressions are glorious. I ended up making a folder just to have them all collected.
As for the show itself, I’m not really sold on it. I can’t really explain why, it’s more a feeling. Maybe it’s the cynicism of it, I’m not sure, but it really didn’t instil a feeling of “I have to watch more of this” or even “I should watch more of this”. It rather left me with a slightly uncomfortable feeling I’m having trouble explaining. This could be one of those rough start things though, and it’ll become more engaging as it rolls on. Only time will tell.
IT HAD A COCK AND BALLS FOR A FACE
Hibike! Euphonium 2
Aka Sound! Euphonium 2
It is back! And fuck me, it’s adorable.
I believe it picks up more or less where it left off. They got through the last round, and now have to work hard to prepare for the next one.
At the same time, one of the people who quit in the drama the year before the show started is asking to be let back into the club. While Kumiko and the other first-years don’t know the full story there, as no one is really willing to talk about it with them, they’re trying to figure out what is going on. Why there’s such resistance to this girl joining back up.
In more important news: Natsuki is still there. She’s still beautiful.
Other very important news: The show seems to be turning up the affection between Kumiko and Reina. Kumiko has now started to join Reina for morning practice, and they take the train together as Reina’s mum has confiscated her bike to use herself. This has led to some really cute moments between the two. They even end up going on a festival date together towards the end of the episode. I do get the impression that Reina might be a little more aware of what is blossoming between them than Kumiko, but I don’t think Kumiko is entirely blind to it. She might not understand it, but it seems like she’s noticed.
I feel a certain kinship to Kumiko and her terrible personality. I was also bad with people, said too much, thought out loud, and was really awkward at that age. I’m still those things, but thankfully to a lesser extent. I liked watching their blossoming romance last series, and I’m happy with this development.
Plus I would still say it’s a solid show otherwise as well. Feeling very excited for this.
Kaijuu Girls: Ultra Kaijuu Gijinka Keikaku
Aka Kaiju Girls
Short. Weird little show about girls who have the spirits of kaiju in them, and they transform into fierce monster outfits to gain access to their kaiju powers for the good of all.
Both adorable and ferocious.
Here we are. Probably the most infamous show this season.
So it’s a world where THE big sport is Keijo, where girls fight each other on platforms floating in water. They are only allowed to use their butts and boobs to hit each other, and if any part of their body except their feet touch the platform, or they’re knocked into the water, they’re out. Also apparently superpowers?
It’s like the T&A squad went “fuck it, why even bother pretending” and just ran full speed ahead with the idea. Which I can respect. They’re very honest and upfront about it. There’s merit to that.
I do feel like it’s a shame they couldn’t actually make it sexy. I’d think that would be a core concept for something like this. While it is somewhat fascinating to watch, I didn’t actually find it exciting at any point. I told myself I would keep at it until the first major Escher Girls moment. I believe it happened about halfway through the episode, but I don’t entirely remember.
If this is your kind of thing, don’t feel any shame about that. Own it. It’s not mine, though.
Kiitarou Shounen no Youkai Enikki
Aka Kiitaro’s Yokai Picture Diary
Short. The way this started out, I thought it was going to be something entirely different from what it turned out to be.
It starts with this grand declaration of The Great Yokai War, and certainly there seems to be two fearsome sides led by (strangely young) human generals. Seems like pretty common anime fare.
Then it turns out this is not actually as dark as it seems, and while they maybe take it a little far, they’re basically just play-fighting because the two kids had a small argument. The Yokai are their friends, and after the Great War, they all sit down and have a great big feast while working out their differences.
All in all, seems cute.
Aoi and Ami are best friends in college. Aoi is cool and athletic. Ami is not. She is clumsy and awkward. She admires Aoi and thinks she’s really cool, and it’s been her secret dream to be able to cycle with Aoi, but she’s not dared say anything because she didn’t think she could handle a bike like Aoi has. She’s afraid of falling off.
Then Ami sees someone on a collapsible bike, and thinks “that looks cute, maybe I could handle one of those”, and she gets Aoi to help her find one. Eventually talking to her about her dream and fears in the process. While at first Ami is hit with a reality check at the price of bicycles, they are able to find one she can afford, and they schedule a cycling date.
Where Ami is hit with another reality check of how out of shape she is. But with the help of two passing fellow cyclists, they teach Ami more about preparation before exercise, and how to recover when feeling tired. All she needs now is to build her stamina and shape gradually, and she is determined to stick with it. Even with how stiff her muscles are the day after.
I thought this was really cute. A bit like Bakuon, but with bicycles instead of motorcycles, and so far lacking in the ecchi stuff that eventually turned me off Bakuon. I think this could be a good one.
A fluffy harem show that takes place in Hogwarts: Art School Edition.
Our protagonist Kohana is the first person to ever successfully complete the transfer exam to the school, and is the first transfer student arriving there for the start of the second year. Her mother was an alumnus at the school, and apparently a really famous one. Kohana knew her mother could create really pretty sparkles with her flower art, but as her mother died early, and she grew up sheltered, she wasn’t aware of her mum’s fame.
As she arrives at the school she has never actually created magic sparkles herself, and just walks around admiring everyone else’s. She never knew that she could have been able to without getting training, so she had never tried. As these stories go, she will learn eventually, but for now it could be a bumpy road. The show even starts with a moment where she has learned her art, and befriended all the six boys, but then it does the “and this is how we got here” thing. So it’s not really a mystery what happens, we’re just here to see the journey to that point.
It’s cuter and more fun than I feared it would be, though it has some weird drama at the end of the episode.
Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku [Dropped]
Aka Magical Girl Raising Project
This doesn’t even try to pretend it’s not what it is. The show opens on a room full of blood and dead magical girls, with only one left standing to face some sort of monster. It is not exactly clear if it’s she or the monster who killed the others. It’s a Madoka-like.
Then it cuts to our protagonist Koyuki, a girl who has always dreamed of being a magical girl. To indulge her fantasy a little she plays a mobile game where you’re a magical girl defeating evil monsters and restoring justice and hope. Around the world there has been a growing amount of rumours and sightings of actual magical girls, and Koyuki definitely feels it would be nice if they really existed. Then she gets a “you have been selected” notice from the game.
I feel it’s a shame that the show tips its hand so early and eagerly. First the opening, then Koyuki being told “did you know there’s a rumour that a select few who play that game become real magical girls”, then the very obvious sightings. It’s very obvious how she’ll become a magical girl way before it actually happens. They don’t try to maintain even the appearance of a mystery. That does not necessarily mean the show will be bad, but it does raise some concerns about the writing and directing.
The episode then progresses fairly innocently with Koyuki figuring out her powers and meeting the other magical girls. I do applaud them for even having boys that get transformed into magical girls. I feel that was an important lesson from Ore Twintail that we should all take to heart. But the post-ED scene already reveals the untrustworthy mascot thing telling them all “oh, we’ve decided to halve the number of magical girls in this region”. And while it’s not explicitly stated (yet), I’m sure we all know it will be decided by life-and-death combat.
I feel like this one might be too heavy for me. I have no real plans of ever watching it. But maybe it sounds like your kind of thing.
Monster Hunter Stories: Ride On [Dropped]
Wow, the CG in this is bad.
It’s a children show about a kid who’s about to pass the Monster Rider exam, and wants to find his own monster rather than being handed one.
Aimed too young for me, but it seems fine. Apart from the CG.
In a slight fake-out the show tries to pretend it’s serious for like a minute at the start before it switches to its silly tone. There are four weird jailbirds who are famous for escaping from all sorts of prisons, so they’ve been put in a prison no one has ever escaped from. Consequently the four of them stage an escape attempt together, and hilarity ensues as they evade trap after trap.
That seems to be the gist of it. I lost interest like halfway through, so I don’t know how the episode ended.
Short. A cute and popular woman (who is secretly a huge otaku) works at a company as secretary to the CEO. While setting up the meeting room for when a couple of high-up anime execs are supposed to arrive, she is approached by a bunny with a hat in a flying hat, who transports her to an alternate world where she has to solve puzzles to get back.
Sure, why not. You can always trust a bunny.
Nobunaga no Shinobi
Aka Ninja Girl & Samurai Master aka Nobunaga’s Shinobi
Short. So we have ninja girl Chidori and her ninja helper Sukezou. They are dispatched to serve Oda Nobunaga. Chidori is an excellent shinobi, but she seems to lack people skills and tact. I’m sure hilarity and murder will ensue.
Seems cute and funny.
Short. An anime about aliens that look like cats shaped like cardboard boxes. They have crashed on Earth and need to find the parts of their ship. Well, ostensibly. Most of them seem fine with staying on Earth.
The most interesting thing about this is that while the cat-aliens are animated, it’s against a live-action back-drop. Been a while since I’ve seen something like that. Almost like the Fraggles. The first episode was also pretty entertaining, so this could be okay.
This earns the dubious honour of being the worst instance of “boobs don’t work that way” this season. Yes, even with Keijo existing.
I didn’t really get far enough in to understand what it’s actually about, but I think it’s something about proving that the occult exists? It’s garbage, don’t even bother.
Sengoku Choujuu Giga [Dropped]
Aka Sengoku Wildlife Caricatures
Short. I don’t get it. I don’t know what this is. I feel like it’s a joke I’m lacking any and all context to understand.
Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume
Aka Scorching Ping Pong Girls
All my weak points. It hit all my weak points!
Agari is a tsundere who’s the ace of the ping pong club at her school, and she loves the attention she gets from that. She believes she can carry them all the way to the nationals, especially now that the long-term champion school of the table tennis scene have been unseated in an unforeseen upset at the last tournament.
In comes Koyori, a transfer student to the school. She is small and shy, and seems quite a lot like a lost kitten/puppy. Agari finds and rescues her when she’s stuck in a tr- er, on top of the school gate, and Koyori immediately bonds to Agari and effectively clings to her for support.
Turns out Koyori also loves ping pong, very, very much. She used to be on the team at her old school, and she’d love to join this one. Also turns out she’s really, really good at it. Agari feels jealous at the attention Koyori is getting, and like her position as ace is threatened. By this sweet little girl who runs and hides behind her whenever she gets overwhelmed.
This is so moe, and so cute, and so gay, that it instantly fell into my “must watch” category.
Show By Rock!! #
Aka Show By Rock!! 2
I watched S1 of Show By Rock, and while I wasn’t a big fan of the ending, I do love these characters, and it’s nice to see them again.
However, after watching the first episode I do not feel anywhere near as excited about this as I do for Eupho. I’m still going to watch it, and hopefully it’ll be good.
The plot this time: Opens on an alien invasion fleet completely wrecking Sound Planet. A trio of Melodians travel back in time to prevent this from happening. Back in the present the remaining members of Plasmagica work on their life sans Cyan. It’s weird for them, but they’re determined to keep going.
At their first big live show since (at least I think it is), they are suddenly attacked by an unknown band of girls that have revived Dagger, and plan to wreak havoc. The time travellers arrive to stop them just in time before Chuchu, Moa, and Retoree have their stones darkened.
Dagger and the girls retreat, and the time travellers explain to everyone at BRR what is going on. At least as much as they know.
This now includes Criticrista, who signed on with BRR after last series. Rosia still acts like a brat, but I do feel that she has changed underneath all that. She lacks the viciousness she used to have, now it’s more like teasing. Like her way of trying cheer people up, or at least distract them. That seems to be the deal with her and Plasmagica, at least. I think she misses Cyan too.
Though ffs, just have Cyan and Retoree kiss already.
Shuumatsu no Izetta
Izetta, The Last Witch
It’s right before Not-WW2 in Not-Europe, where the princess of a small duchy ( which lies where West Austria is in actual Europe ) is seeking to meet with a Britannian diplomat to request aid to prevent the Not-Nazis from invading her country.
Along the way she has to run from the Not-Nazis, and after receiving word during the diplomat meeting that the invasion has begun, she is captured. They intend to take her to Neue Berlin. Not sure what happened to old Berlin.
She is put on a plane along with a capsule containing the suspended body of the titular Izetta. Who just happens to be from the princess’ duchy. Shit happens, Izetta wakes up and frees herself, and to be continued next episode.
I do wonder where the show is going to go from here. It feels like it’s either going to be a winner, or a complete dud, and nothing in between.
Edit: I should have remembered to add this to begin with, but this show seems to be rather fond of its fanservice, just so you’re aware. The princess walked around naked for several minutes with the camera only paying as much respect to modesty as it had to without raising the age rating.
Soul Buster [Dropped]
Another “short” with 13 minute long episodes.
So main dude has a “dream” where he encounters the emaciated, but somehow still living, body of some ancient emperor, and through some weird events that make negative sense he accidentally returns the emperor’s heart.
Then he wakes up, and shortly after he ends up in another “dream” where a strange little man tells him to pick a card, but only if he’s willing to defend it with his life.
Turns out this is some Fate/Stay Night type of nonsense where the cards summon champions to fight. From what I gathered, the idea is to defeat/kill the other card bearers to get their cards. Towards what end, I can’t say.
Of course it turns out our “hero” got the card of the The One And Only Woman Champion. I paid particular attention to the ED that seemed to show all, or perhaps most, of the champions, and they’re all dudes. Except her. So of course she also has ridiculous-looking armour and high-heeled steel boots.
If it at least seemed the least bit interesting, that’s stuff I might be willing to look past, but no thanks. I don’t need another Fate that does it even worse.
Soushin Shoujo Matoi [Dropped]
Matoi the Sacred Slayer
Right then. Matoi is a girl, just a normal girl she says, which of course we all know isn’t true, or at least won’t be true for very long.
Her father is a police officer, and she often tends to help out her friend at the local shrine.
When some mysterious killings happen that are caused by evil spirits, events transpire that lead to Matoi being transformed into some sort of magical girl exorcist. Which apparently her late mother also was before her.
While not the most immediately grabbing show, it seems like it might be alright. Except for the gross ecchi elements. Those really turned me off, and I’d rather not.
Stella no Mahou
Aka Magic of Stella
Tamaki is a sweet girl from the sticks who is just about to start high school life in the city. Her friend Yumine already attended Jr. High in there, so she appoints herself as Tamaki’s guide for the first days of school. Which includes telling her to lose her adorable “hick accent”.
Now at first I imagined Tamaki might be another Hanamaru, but actually she seems well aware of modern conventions, and ends up joining the school’s doujin-game club. Unless I missed something, I think this is an all-girls school. If any boys were present, I did not notice them.
I thought it was really nice to see a bunch of girls where none of them are like “so, what’s a video’d games?”
Seems like it could be really fun and cute, and possibly a little gay. We have a fujoshi if nothing else.
Tiger Mask W [Dropped]
It’s a wrestling anime. I’ve been told most, maybe all, of the wrestlers in the show borrow the names of real wrestlers, even if they don’t necessarily match how they are in real-life.
How do I even describe this plot? So there’s two friends who watch their mentor/father get crushed in a wrestling match by Yellow Devil, and the poor man ends up crippled and in a care home. To seek revenge they both decide to start training themselves up, but for some reason they don’t train together. The student trains with a friend of his mentor, and ends up adopting/inheriting the title of Tiger Mask! The son seeks out the people who crippled his father and trains with them, infiltrating the organisation until he earns the title of Tiger The Dark.
I’m sure it’s going to turn into a thing where they end up fighting each other in order to act out their revenge in their own ways. Tiger Mask straight up attacking the baddies, while Tiger The Dark needs to maintain his cover.
I’ll be frank: It’s terrible. But so terrible it’s kinda charming. I’m sure you could absolutely watch this in a “so bad it’s good” sense. And wrestling fans would probably get an extra kick out of it.
Time Bokan 24 [Dropped]
Apparently this isn’t the first Time Bokan show. It’s a franchise, that somehow ties in with Yatterman.
So we have a girl with her helper bot and helper bird in a time-travelling mecha-beetle trying to escape the baddies from Yatterman. They crash-land in 2016, and pick up this 14-year-old Dullface McAverage, and have to escape into the future while he’s still on board. I guess he also becomes a time cop agent thing in future episodes.
This feels so squarely aimed at the boys 12-15 demographic that I’m not even going to bother.
To Be HERO [Dropped]
The third Haoliners Animation show, and seems like it could be the worst of the lot. Another short.
The “hero” is a fairly handsome guy who somehow manages to use being a toilet seat salesman to his advantage while dating women. His daughter hates him for his womanising, saying it’s why her mother left, which seems like it’s true.
One night he gets pulled arse-first into the toilet, and ends up in front of Super Not-Mario, and told he is to be transformed into a super-hero to fight off an incoming alien invasion.
For some reason this turns him into a fat, ugly dude, and his daughter kicks him out because she thinks he’s a stranger and a creeper. Also for some reason the words he intends to say are not necessarily the words that come out of his mouth.
It has yet to be demonstrated that he has any actual superpowers, and I’m not going to find out. This is just awful. It seems to be trying to be a humour show, but it’s not funny. Actually, there was one funny gag in the episode. Just one.
Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru
Let me get this right. So a bunch of swords wielded by historically important figures of Japanese history have been given flesh-and-blood bodies in order to fight a group of time-travelling menaces who are trying to change history.
It seems to be KanColle, but with sword boys instead of ship girls.
Trickster: Edogawa Ranpo “Shounen Tanteidan” yori
Right. So there’s a Boys’ Detectives Club, that seem to be a fairly well-known group with a record of solving cases both big and small.
It’s the not too distant future, and one of the members of the BDC, Kensuke, happens upon a strange boy called Yoshio who seems to be entirely unable to die due to some mysterious force protecting him.
Yoshio is not particularly happy about this, as he can’t even get close to anyone without potentially killing them with this force he doesn’t understand. He just wishes he could die.
As the city seems to be approaching a time of turmoil, Kensuke is determined to befriend Yoshio and get him into the BDC.
Appears to be an interesting one, so it could be worth keeping an eye on. It might be in danger of getting unfocused and stretching itself too thin.
Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari
Aka Poco’s Udon World
After his father passes away, Souta returns to his home town to see to the old house. Him and his sister have decided to clean the place up in order to sell it.
Their father was a semi-famous noodle restaurant owner (he’s in tourist guides), who specialised in making udon. Apparently the whole of the Kagawa area is colloquially known as the “Udon Prefecture”. Friends, locals, and tourists alike keep inquiring if Souta is going to reopen the restaurant, but he is not enthused about the idea because of an argument he had with his father. He never even learned how to make udon.
Upon reaching the restaurant, Souta discovers a strange little girl sleeping in a flour bowl. Upon being discovered she wakes up, and runs off with the bag of wheat that was in there before Souta can figure out how to react. He finds her again later, sans wheat. Not knowing what to do with her, he decides to takes her to the police the next day so they can help find her family.
The two of them end up bonding during the day and the night, and on the way to the police station the next day, he discovers she is actually a shapeshifting tanuki. Which seems to explain why she doesn’t talk much. And that’s basically where the episode ends.
I find this absolutely adorable. It reminds me of a mix between Barakamon and Sweetness&Lightning. Tanuki girl is the cutest thing, I swear. She has not been named yet, but I think she’s the titular Poco.
Watashi ga Motete Dousunda
Aka Kiss Him, Not me
Kae is a massive fujoshi in the second year of high school. She passionately ships basically all the boys in school with each other, along with at least one other fujoshi friend. She is also a very stereotypical fat nerd girl. She is on friendly terms with most of the hot boys in school, so I have to assume there’s nothing wrong with her social skills as such. But since she’s so chubby, there’s of course no way they’d see her anything more than a friend… at least that seems to be the logic they’re going by, fucking hell. Not gonna lie, this depiction is a bit gross.
So who’s the girl in the promo image? Well, you see, one night after one of Kae’s favourite anime characters is killed off during an episode, she becomes depressed and doesn’t get out of bed for a week. When she finally gets out, she discovers that she’s become skinny and hot. Because that’s how that works. Her first reaction then being “Mom, the mirror’s broken!” I feel a little bad for laughing at that one.
While this set-up is far from flattering, I did quite enjoy the rest of the episode. I will not blame anyone who decides to drop this show due to the beginning, but if you can stick with it, I think the rest of the show could actually be quite good.
When she returns to school like this, she suddenly draws the eye of several cute boys who want to ask her on dates. She’s still a fujoshi at heart, though, hence the title. She’d rather they kiss each other than her. She tries to be a “normal girl” now, but it’s proving hard to fight her instincts.
A disturbing amount of anime seems to be “if you can deal with/tolerate/ignore this one problem, the rest of the show is actually really good”. New Game had the fanservice. Momokuri had the stalker thing. And this has the gross fat humour and implausible transformation in the opening.
I know Working/Wagnaria has other previous shows, but I decided to see if I could just go into this one without having seen them. The first episode worked entirely fine without any foreknowledge, in my opinion. I enjoyed it.
Daisuke is a very skilled student, but when his father’s company goes bankrupt, he has to get a part-time job. With no more allowance to get, he needs the money to afford travel fare to the school, and other things. His school doesn’t actually allow part-time jobs, but his father managed to convince his teacher to give him special permission. He ends up at a job interview at the Wagnaria restaurant, and gets the job.
What I expected: Daisuke to clumsily and slowly learn how to do the job, while making a lot of mistakes. What I got: Daisuke doesn’t fuck up much at all, and adapts quickly to the job, basically getting into the swing of things in a matter of weeks. The show isn’t shy about time-skips.
Throughout the course of the episode he gradually gets acquainted with the others working there, and their special personalities. I will say: Most of these people I have met working retail, or from other customer service jobs. There are a few that seem a little bit out there, but I recognise most of these personalities. While I agree with Daisuke that they’re all scary in their own way, I find them mostly believable, which helped me enjoy the episode a lot.
So yeah. Even having not seen any of the other Working shows, I found this one enjoyable and engaging.
Yuri!!! on ICE
Aka Yuri on Ice
I do my best to avoid other people’s impressions of shows before I get to see for myself, but as the second-most famous/infamous show of the season, it was impossible to avoid people talking about Yuri on Ice completely. That probably coloured my own expectations of it.
The main character is named Yuri Katsuki, hence the show title. It seems to be more like Yaoi in Ice in terms of the theme. He’s a figure skater who made it all the way to the Grand Prix Finale representing Japan, where he also saw his skater idol: Viktor Nikiforov. However, Yuri came last in the finale, and his hopes were shattered.
Months later he shows up at his old home town, and heads back to his parents’ bath house inn. He is not in great shape, and admits he was feeling terrible for a long time, but he has regained some of his spark and wants to get back into skating.
After a performance he put on for a friend got filmed and accidentally put online, Viktor himself shows up and says he’s going to be Yuri’s coach from now on.
Once this episode was done, my main reaction was “wait, that was it?” I couldn’t, and still can’t, see anything in that one episode that would inspire the sort of excitement I’ve seen in certain people. I mean, it’s okay. It seems decent. A slow start, that will probably pick up speed later. I’m sure it’ll be good, eventually. I just don’t see it in this episode.
12-Sai. Chiccha na Mune no Tokimeki 2: Nope nope nope nope, I really don’t feel like I should watch this show.
AJIN 2: I didn’t get very far into the first Ajin series.
Bubuki Buranki: Hoshi no Kyojin: I dropped S1, so no.
BUNGOU STRAY DOGS 2: Ugh, no. Dropped S1.
Cardfight!! Vanguard G Next: I don’t even know what this franchise is. Is it like Yu-Gi-Oh? Or is it actually Yu-Gi-Oh?
Digimon Universe: App Monsters: I’m so out of touch with Digimon by this point.
Haikyuu!!: Karasuno Koukou VS Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou: I have not seen S1 or S2.
Idol Memories: I couldn’t find any subbed version, so I decided it’s not that important.
Kaitou Joker 4: I did not get very far in S1.
Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans 2: I lost interest in S1.
Lostorage incited WIXOSS: If I’m going to watch WIXOSS, I’m going to start from the beginning.
Natsume Yuujinchou Go: Fifth series of this show, and I’ve not even heard of it before.
Pokemon Sun & Moon: Too long since I last watched Pokemon.
Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Legend Star: S4 of a show I haven’t even heard of before.
ViVid Strike!: Please no.
Right then, the “grand” reveal of my picks. I have divided these into: Seeds, picks w/short, definite backups, tentative backups, and backup shorts.
Seeds! The three shows that I decided before the season even started: Hibike! Euphonium 2; Regalia – The Three Sacred Stars; Show By Rock!! 2
Picks! The 4 + 1 short shows I want to keep going with:
- Flip Flappers: I am really up for a colourful adventure show that isn’t afraid to have fun.
- Izetta, The Last Witch: While I am not certain this one will remain good, I do want to see how it evolves from this start.
- Poco’s Udon World: Poco is so cute, and this seems so adorable. It’s the reason I went for four picks instead of three.
- Scorching Ping Pong Girls: I knew before I even finished the first episode. This is so perfectly tailored to me, it’s unavoidable.
- Kaiju Girls: The short I picked because it seems fun and interesting, and so fierce.
Definite Backups: All Out; Fune wo Amu; Kiss Him, Not Me; Long Riders; Stella no Mahou; WWW.Working
Tentative Backups: 3-gatsu no Lion; Brave Witches; ClassicaLoid; Dream Festival; Girlish Number; Magic-Kyun Renaissance; Touken Ranbo: Hanamaru; Trickster; Yuri on Ice
Backup Shorts: Bernard-jou Iwaku; Kiitaro’s Yokai Picture Diary; Nazotokine; Nobunaga’s Shinobi; Nyanbo
Sorry about the mix of English and Japanese titles, I just wrote what I thought was easiest.
And that’s the start of the Anime Autumn Season 2016. I thought maybe it was going to be overall bad with a few good ones, but it rather seems to be overall decent. Which seems to have been the case with the last two Autumn Seasons too, if I remember correctly. Perhaps they tend to take this time of the year seriously.
That’s it for me this year, though. Time to take a break and lower my stress levels as much as I can. Around the New Year I’ll see about putting together a “Best of the Year” list, but I’ll be skipping the mid-season and end of season posts this time. It caused me too much stress last season. Better to try again next year.
Until next time: Happy Halloween, and Merry Yule. Or whatever you celebrate in your corner of the world, within your family.